"My king, you've been acting strangely lately." Fandral said.
"Have not." Thor denies. "All is fine in the realm."
"The queen is suspicious of you." Frandral said. "There's nothing quite right about this picture. A queen should be able to speak with her king without the shred of a doubt." Fandral sounds worried about Thor as well. "I wasn't referring to Asgards well being. But to yours."
"What has Sif told you?" Thor asks.
"Only where I need to be concerned for a dear friend." Fandral said.
So Thor lied to Fandral why he's been acting strangely. Fandral seems suspicious about it at first but Thor's rather friendly and rest assuring attitude convinced him otherwise. The only explanation Fandral got from Thor was a 'I've been worried about Sif's visits to Midgard." That entirely was understandable when the knowledge of other unrealmly beings often plagued Midgard under Midgardian's very noses.
___ ___ ___
Joy was staring at what once had been Loki's cubicle. We see a book beside her right arm that had her name printed on it in red text. The title of the book is printed in blue letters that resemble ice that read 'The prince of ice' with the tag line 'He froze her heart' right below it. The cover is a picture of New York city at night with a blue glow in the background. In the darker area above the main title is a snow flake.
It had been three months since Loki had abruptly quit and left. Now there was a much younger man who didn't really connect two parts of a unknown conversation together when co-workers were whispering about gossip; or so they thought.This man is Branthony Dennis.Joy didn't really like Branthony as did many of the other co-workers. Joy solved Izzy faster than a cricket could call dibs on a leaf competiting against a male of its kind. Izzy wasn't as much normal as she portrayed herself to be in this line of work in customer service.
"You're missing Loki." Hank said.
Joy's cold stiff neck feels terrible as she carefully turns her head up towards Hank.
"No." Joy lied.
"Don't deny it!" Hank said. "I know you've been missing Loki" Hank picks up the book and waves it in mid air. "How can I not miss out the littlest detail that Takyionly is based on Loki?" Hank puts down the book where he had picked it up. "He has snow white skin, vampirish black hair, and a stride that would match a confident young prince!"
Joy found it difficult to sigh.
"Takyionly is based on all of the men I met." Joy lies, again.
"Then why did the bullet not go through Takyionly in chapter 22 and end up very smashed?" Hank asks. "I've been dying to hear if he was wearing a bullet proof vest during a bank robbery." Joy forces a smile. "I don't know who Brenda is based on."
"Does it ever occur to you that she may be based on no one?" Joy asks.
"I refuse to think such negativity!" Hank said.
"That is not negativity." Joy said, with a little laugh.
"You based Takyionly on Loki." Hank said. "Giving up guessing is a road to negative. I know for a fact you based Brenda's childhood friend 'Andy' on Conner because of Andy's love for Goosebumps novels!" Hank rationalizes in a lively gesture. "Who in the name of Chowder is Brenda based on?"
Joy smiles, putting her hands under her chin, yet the pain was not shown.
"Perhaps you'll never know." Joy said.
"I've checked the book at least fifteen times!" Hank said. "I should know who Brenda is based on from this floor by now. However I don't have the faintest clue."
"Maybe you'll not meant to find out." Joy teasingly said.
"Who is Frenda based on?" Hank asks.
"Some one from this floor." Joy said in a hinting type of voice.
"Is there going to be a sequel?" Hank asks, again. "I want to know if Takyionly reveals to Brenda that she's not losing it--"
"Hank, Brenda died on the last page." Joy said. "The Prince of Ice was her story."
"You never implicated what happened to Takyionly." Hank said. "Nothing what-so-ever."
"Takyionly was a figment of her imagination." Joy reveals, seeing a stunned Hank. "That is why he didn't get hit."
"Wa--w-wait a minute." Hank said, shaking his hands in front of himself back and forth. "Brenda's heart was said to have frozen!"
"No." Joy said., "It was crushed." She opens the book and turns to the last page. "'I'll read it to you. Seems like you're interpreting wrong."
Hank grabs a chair and rolled himself near to Joy's cubicle.
"Go ahead!" Hank said.
Joy pauses, looking at Hank with such a 'you're so gulliable' expression.
"This might be different from the one you read." Joy warns Hank.
Joy read the ending to Hank.Hank was frozen in the 'that is not what I read' kind of reaction and his eyes change into a disbelief kind of glance.By the time Joy had put the book down Hank had his right elbow propped on the corner of her cubicle while cupping his head into his right hand. Apparently Hank is speechless to say a reply.
"The end." Joy said.
Hank rubs his fingers together.
"So...." Hank said, trying to find the words. "You based Isegard on Asgard."
"I never been to Asgard." Joy said. "The kingdom, as in Isegard, itself is a mere merge of old and new." Joy holds her hands out in mid air with her palms facing upwards. "It is a merge between science fiction and modern."
"Basically it is a steampunk version of Asgard." Hank summarizes Isegard.
"Except not many talk formal." Joy said.
Hank makes a low laugh shaking his head and takes his elbow off the counter.
"Lemme guess." Hank said, tapping on his chin lightly. "The guy who moved to Brazil for a role model job has repeatedly called you because he's read the book."
Joy slowly shook her head.
"I have not gotten a call." Joy said.
Branthony wheels over to the front side of the cubicle. His wheels are ridiculously bumpy and old because someone had used it to get over a floor of broken glass three months ago under unusual circumstances.
"Did I hear someone say Brazil?" Branthony asks.
Hank and Joy share a 'How can he have heard that under such noise?' kind of expression.
"We're not talking about you, Brazil-obsessed-dork." Joy said. "We're talking about someone else."
"Aw." Branthony whines a little as his shoulders sulked,
"And shouldn't you be at your extremely busy cubicle?" Hank asks.
"On the contrary, there's no calls coming in." Branthony said, shaking his right thumb both ways like it should be the index finger. Branthony did not have a index finger which made it more stranger that his right thumb is basically his first big toe surgically moved to his right hand. Of course Branthony's left hand didn't have any of those strange characteristics. "And I would like to ask the same to you."
"I finished my quota an hour ago." Hank said.
"I am getting slow calls." Joy said,tapping on the headset on the table beside the lion king themed pen holder. "Very slow."
Branthony tilts his head.
"And I was told this floor was always busy." Branthony remarks, slowly shaking his head.
Hank looks over to see Branthony's terrible chair with wheels.There was still some shards of glass budged into the little dark wheels hooked to the chair's legs. The rugged floor had some painfully obvious markings that resulted only from glass sharply digging through it. How does this thumb man do it?,Hank wonders, How does he slide in these glass compromised wheels?
"So why did Loki leave?" Branthony asks.
Joy and Hank stare at Branthony pretty blank.
"I have really good hearing." Branthony said, tapping his fingers together. Branthony's left index finger taps at thin air repeatedly. "I heard..um...I heard your conversation." Branthony sheepishly smiles rubbing the back of his neck using his left hand. "From a couple cubicles over."
"Give us some examples." Hank said, with his arms folded. "Start by the row across."
"Okay." Branthony said, turning the chair to the right. "The first guy over there is talking to a rather old customer who's not wearing those ear hearing helpers so that's why he is yelling." The yelling guy seems to have a yell that is overshadowed by the other conversations. "The two girls behind his cubicle are dealing with very soothing and manly customers who'se voices make them whisper."
The two women seem peaceful in their cubicle looking as if they were zoning into the twilight zone.
"Down the row is some guys chatting with their girlfriends on one phone, and then through their headset they are helping a customer out re-installing a Mozilla Firefox browser that has a sure hell lotta complications." Branthony continues with a small smile and a shake of his head. "The other women down the row are helping with clueless customers who are trying to uninstall Internet Explorer and reboot their computers in some way to get rid of one hell of a nasty computer virus.The costumers are somewhere noisy, so I guess they are a computer based room in Las Vegas so that's why the chicks are speaking louder."
Branthony turns away from the analyzed row.
"Happy now?" Branthony asks.
Hank and Joy share a slow nod.
"Loki quit for a role model job." Hank said. "A very specific one down in Brazil; it goes by his terms."
"If he's down at Brazil, for a gee, role model job." Branthony said. "My sister would have texted me a picture in InstantPhotoMessanger."
"She has a good reason not to show you." Joy said. "Loki's been in the playboy magazine."
Our scene transitions to a much later time; probably 5:42. The light gray October sky made the atmosphere in this cemetery scenery feel cold and somewhat not the kind a average mourner would visit. Joy is standing across from a gravestone holding a collection of yellow violets in a vase that had some dirt inside for the plants. There is a name on the gravestone that read 'Ginger Cotton' with a inscription below read 'A beloved woman out of touch with technology'. Joy puts the vase down the near tombstone.
The death date read "September 1st, 2011".
"Ginger." Joy said. "It has been another day at Floor 19." Joy sadly sighs. "Another day I see some-one else in your cubicle. It makes me wonder why on the last night we chatted on the phone you refused to tell me why I heard crickets." There was silence from the tombstone. "I mean, you acted strangely when we saw David at the mall a few hours before that. And then, poof, the next day you were dead."
Joy leans to the left using a cane to keep her balance.Joy is wearing a pair of long pink gloves that disappear from view thanks to the long black coat's sleeves,a black hat, she is wearing brown furry ear muffs, and a long scarf decorated in unique colors. From the distance there is a sight of a man similar to Branthony leaning against the seat to a motorcycle.
"I never told you when you were alive that..." Joy looks down to the cane.The words she wanted to say to a unresponsive grave stone were reluctant to come out.Joy looks up pretty much away from the cane back to the gravestone "I-i-i-i--I am slowly becoming frozen."
Joy waves her hand ever so slightly.
"I've been making through this difficulty for a few months now." Joy said. "It hasn't stopped me from reading, socializing--...Okay, fine, I have stopped my regular jogging." It is mentioned in a sad and disappointed tone. "To everyone, the room is warm. But to me; it is freezing. I would like it to end one of these days."
Joy takes out a rolled up magazine that was sticking out from her coat pocket.
"I brought this here for you." Joy said, placing the magazine beside the vase. "You always refused to buy a playboy magazine." She makes this amused and happy laugh, her shoulders slightly went up then down. "Now you can't refuse to look at it."
Joy turns away from the grave towards the direction the figure is.She squints to see the distant figure leaning against the motorcycle. She recognized the figure as Branthony. Even at the mention of Brazil and a strict rule to Branthony about stalking; he does it anyway. Joy sighs with a low head-shake.She walks away from the gravestone.
"Branthony, stop stalking me!" Joy shouts back.
"I am not stalking." Branthony shouts back. "I am doing a favor for Hank!" Why would Hank be concerned for Joy, anyway? That was a very good and mysterious question now laying in her mind among other things. "There's a difference between watching out for your safety at a safe distance and personally intruding into your house!"Joy could feel the sharp pain in her ankle walking forward.Branthony did have a good point with the intruding part. "I am only a concerned civilian."
Joy hated to be watched for her own safety.
"No, you're a concerned Brazilian dork." Joy retorts.
"I may be obsessed with the idea of visiting Brazil, but I am from Norway." Branthony said. "I am a Norwegian not a Brazilian."
Joy eventually came to the rounded road.
"And is following me everywhere part of that?" Joy asks.
"Not everywhere, Joy." Branthony said. "There's a lot of exceptions; malls, restaurants, town halls,where-ever you go on vacation, your house, your friends houses, restroom--why would I stalk you in the ladies room, anyway?--, in the car, and--"
Joy laughs, shaking her hand.
"I get what you're saying." Joy said, and then she looks around. "Don't tell me you towed my jeep."
"Your jeep is where you parked it." Branthony said.
Joy raises an eyebrow.
"Tracker?" Joy asks.
"There is no way over the moon that I can get a GPS tracker." Branthony said. "I kind of have a good idea to know where you are." He wore black gloves that is missing a finger for an index finger. "I am not a secret spy agent, you know, that's way too Hollywood for me."
"...Then you know where my Jeep is." Joy said.
"Probably behind those rows of black vans." Branthony said, pointing down the parking lot.
Joy turns her head to the left right towards the direction that Branthony pointed at. There were a couple daunting rows of black vehicles making it seem harder to find the jeep among that shadowly mess. For once, you're scared; of a parking lot!, Joy mentally notes.Branthony lowers his hand right after Joy had looked. Joy turns her attention back to Branthony.
"Is helping me find my jeep part of that 'watcher' deal?" Joy asks. The next words were something that she never had asked for in a long time. "I need some help."